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Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Ridley one of NFL's most underrated?

By Field Yates

Stevan Ridley is no stranger to Patriots fan, but his game does not receive the national exposure it deserves. That's according to Elliot Harrison, who on NFL.com names Ridley to his "All-Underrated" team.

Harrison suggests that Ridley's 2012 production -- which came in the form of 1,263 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns -- goes overlooked because he plays with Tom Brady and among a crowded Patriots backfield.

The 24-year old was perhaps the Patriots' most improved player last season, and led the team in offensive snaps among running backs (44.8 percent). In his rookie season in 2011, Ridley played just 14 percent of the offensive snaps.

The increased workload yielded nearly three times the rushing yards, as well as 290 carries, the highest by a Patriot since 2004.

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has often referenced that many players experience their most substantial growth between their first and second NFL seasons, and that growth was evident for Ridley last season.